The Big Farmland Bird Count shows the "crucial role" farmers play in songbird survival

Land managers play a “crucial role” in songbird survival, said organisers of the Big Farmland Bird Count.

Threatened bird species such as curlew benefit from measures put in by farmers, land managers and gamekeepers.

Dr Roger Draycott of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) which runs the annual event said: “As custodians of the largest songbird habitat in the country, farmers, land managers and gamekeepers play a crucial role in the survival of the UK’s farmland birds.

“The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count aims to encourage even more of them to include conservation measures in the daily running of their farm, estate or shoot.”

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To take part in the count, farmers and land managers are asked to spend 30 minutes recording the birds they see in one area of their land.

“Many land managers carry out vital conservation work, largely unseen by the public,

“By taking part in the count year on year, they can see how the conservation work they are doing is having an impact and our scientists can build a picture of the health of the UK’s farmland bird species.

“The GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count is a very positive way to showcase what can be achieved.”

The GWCT’s advisory service also provides guidance on ways to boost wild bird populations.

“Farmers and gamekeepers look after 71% of the UK’s countryside, so their commitment to conserving it is vital,” Dr Draycott said.

“It is brilliant to see so many giving up their spare time to record the bird species they see.”

Last year’s count saw more than 1,500 land managers take part and organisers said they are hoping to beat that number this year with counts taking place under Covid guidelines.